Keto Cherry Eton Mess (low carb, gluten free)

Keto Cherry Eton MessLiving on keto can get a little repeptitive at times and it does feel as though everything I eat is super savoury. I have a few sweet treats that I have on a regular basis like sugar-free jelly, double cream, and the peanut and chocolate fat bombs that make, but sometimes you want a proper dessert. Two things happened recently which really sowed the seed of making this dessert; firstly, I saw a recipe for keto meringues and secondly I realised how low-carb cherries are for fruit – 100g cherries is roughly 12g carbs, which is minimal compared to other fruits. Cherries are my absolute favourite fruit too, which is truly serendipitous! Here’s how I made it:

Keto Cherry Eton Mess
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto (Low Carb)
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A low-sugar dessert made with cherry compote, meringue and double cream.
Ingredients
  • For the MERINGUES
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp erythritol
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp cream of tartar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • For the COMPOTE
  • 100g cherries, pitted, plus two with stalk on for decoration
  • 2tbsp water
  • 2tbsp erythritol
  • 100ml double cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange oven racks on second lowest and second highest positions.
  3. In clean glass or metal bowl, combine egg whites, erythritol, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on medium high until medium stiff peaks form and mixture becomes somewhat glossy. Do not beat until stiff.
  4. Spoon or pipe mixture into 10 large meringues.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 250F. Then reduce oven temperature to 200F and continue to bake for another 18 to 20 minutes, until crisp and tips are just starting to brown.
  6. Turn off oven and let meringues it inside for 2 hours or longer.
  7. Remove and carefully peel off parchment.
  8. Place your cherries in a blender with 2tbsp water and blend until almost smooth
  9. Pour the blended cherries into a small saucepan with 2tbsp of Truvia and heat on low until the mixture reduces and has an almost jam-like consistency
  10. Place in the fridge to cool
  11. Once your meringues are ready and your compote has cooled, layer them in a sundae glass or bowl by adding one layer of cream, some crumbled meringue and some of the compote.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 268 Fat: 24g Saturated fat: 14.9g Carbohydrates: 9.6g Sugar: 5.5g Sodium: 276.5mg Fiber: 9.8g Protein: 4.9g Cholesterol: 70mg

The whole dish has 9.6g carbs which is really reasonable for something so sweet and tasty! If you hadn’t old me, I wouldn’t have known that this was a low sugar dessert and I’m just waiting for someone to come over for dinner so that I can test it on them to see if they notice. Food like this is good for my soul; eating keto isn’t just a diet plan, it’s a way of life and knowing that I can have desserts like this without it needed to be a cheat meal is just brilliant!

Do let me know if you give this a go, or if you have your own variation on it.

 

Keto Cauliflower Cheese (vegetarian, gluten free)

Keto Cauliflower Cheese (vegetarian, gluten free)

Cauliflower is one of those things which seems to feature a LOT in keto recipes; it’s fairly neutral in flavour and is often used as a low-carb dupe for rice, potato and other stuff. However, there’s only so much cauliflower you can eat before becoming really, really bored of it, so I thought I’d try to make it a bit more flavoursome and interesting. I’ve been craving cauliflower cheese lately but couldn’t think past the fact that a white sauce is usually based on a roux, which is obviously made of flour, and none of the flour substitutes we use (like ground almonds) seemed like they would work.

However, after a bit of a brain-wave yesterday, I decided to go a completely different way about it. The result was cheesy, garlicy and unctuous all in the right measures and Husband even commented that is was the nicest cauliflower cheese he’s ever eaten – HIGH PRAISE! Here’s how you make it:

Keto Cauliflower Cheese (vegetarian, gluten free)
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
A flourless caulflower cheese, perfect for a low carb, high fat diet.
Ingredients
  • A head of cauliflower
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 20g grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and par-boil for 10-15 minutes, until it just starts to go soft (there is nothing worse then HARD cauliflower in cauli cheese, if you ask me!)
  2. In a separate bowl, place the double cream, cream cheese, 200g of the cheddar (keeping some back for sprinking on top before baking) and garlic powder and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted together. Stir to combine fully.
  3. Drain the cauliflower and allow to cool for a minute (this will allow more moisture to evaporate away and stop you from ending up with a watery sauce at the end)
  4. Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 9"x9" Pyrex dish and pour the cheese mixture over evenly
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top
  6. Bake at 180° for 25 minutes and the finish under a hot grill for a minute or two to get a really browned-off finish
Nutrition Information
Serving size:  Calories: 432 Fat: 38.2g Saturated fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 5.8g Sugar: 2.5g Sodium: 58mg Fiber: 1.5g Protein: 16.7

Be aware before you eat this; it’s pretty high calorie thanks to the cream and all of the cheese, but it’s well worth it and fits a keto diet pretty perfectly. We ate ours with slow cooked lamb and veg, but this would also be amazing with pork chops. Obviously if you wanted it to be lower calorie, you could eat a smaller portion but it’s very moreish so that’s easier said than done!

Let me know if you give this a go – it’s definitely going to be a regular side-dish to our meals.

Keto Snacks – Cheese, Jalapeno and Pancetta Crisps

Keto cheese, pancetta and jalapeno crispsSomething I’ve found since I started eating keto is that I seem to do better with a “little and often” approach, rather than trying to plan three main meals a day. Combine this with the fact that I often get hungry in the evenings AND I crave snacky, crunchy food, I’m often on an “AVOID CRISPS/TOAST/CHIPS!” wavelength when finding something to eat.

Sometimes, though, the simplest snacks are the tastiest and getting creative with what’s in the fridge can really help. Last night, I was having a major Jones for something salty and crunchy and as much as a 25g portion of peanuts is nice, the carb levels are too high to properly indulge.

This snack satisfies the need for something salty, spicy, flavourful and with a definite CRUNCH which makes it absolutely perfect for me and it couldn’t be simpler to make:

Keto Snacks - Cheese, Jalapeno and Bacon Crisps
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 30g grated parmesan
  • 50g grated cheddar
  • 85g cubed pancetta
  • 12 slices of pickled jalapeno
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C
  2. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  3. Sprinkle a 50 pence sized circle of parmesan onto the tray in dots (I usually make 12 at a time)
  4. Place a little pinch of grated cheddar on top of the parmesan
  5. Place a few cubes of prosciutto on top of the cheddar and top with a jalapeno slice
  6. Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is golden and crispy around the edges
  7. Take out of the oven and allow to cool slightly before placing on a plate - ENJOY!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 crisp Calories: 45 Fat: 3.5 Saturated fat: 2.3 Carbohydrates: 0.2 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 146.8mg Fiber: 0 Protein: 3.1

I can’t even tell you how tasty these were so I’m hoping the photo does a good job of showing you! They’re 45 calories PER crisps, so really not a low calorie snack (especially as they’re so moreish and one definitely won’t be enough) but at less than half a gram of carbs per crisp, they’re pretty much the perfect keto snack! My husband commented that they’d also be good dipped in salsa but I have no idea how carby salsa would be so don’t take my word for it!

Let me know if you try these or come up with any variations of what to top them with.

 

Fat Bombs – Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares

Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Fat BombsMost days, I have no problems meeting my macros and by the end of the day, I’ve had all the fat I need. However, there are some days when I’ve got some calories left (I’m currently calories counting because I’ve still got at least 2.5st to lose) but I need to meet my fat macros efficiently and that is when something like these peanut and chocolate fat bombs would be a really good option. Husband obviously consumes far more calories than me in a day because he’s trying to gain muscle and there are days when he really struggles to eat enough, especially when he’s feeling sick of eggs or meat and these would also be useful for those times. If I’m honest, I just have a sweet tooth and having something ket-friendly on hand is what stops me from eating Nutella straight from the jar! These are NOT a low-calorie option, however.

The best thing about these is that they only have 5 ingredients and are SUPER easy to make. Here’s what you need and how you make them:

Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Fat Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Sweets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25
 
A sweet, high-fat peanut butter and chocolate treat
Ingredients
  • 200g creamed coconut
  • 90g dark (85% or higher) chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons erythritol
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 300g peanut butter (we use Whole Earth because it's made with sustainable palm oil)
Instructions
  1. Line a square pan (roughly 9x9) with grease-proof paper
  2. Place the creamed coconut in a saucepan and melt over a low heat until it's more liquid than solid (if you'v ever melted creamed coconut, you'll know exactly what I mean by this!)
  3. Add the peanut butter, erythritol and vanilla extract to the pan and combine until smooth
  4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts until totally melted
  5. Pour half of the peanut/coconut mixture to the lined pan
  6. Add the chocolate to the remaining peanut mixture and combine completely
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut mixture in the pan
  8. Freeze for about 20 minutes
  9. Lift out of the pan and cut into 25 pieces (obviously, if you cut it smaller it will be fewer calories per square)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 square Calories: 158 Fat: 13.5g Saturated fat: 1.7g Carbohydrates: 3.3g Sugar: 1.7 Sodium: 48.4mg Fiber: 2.6g Protein: 4g

Yes, you read that right, 158 calories per small square! As I said, they aren’t low-cal, but they ARE delicious and really useful for followers of keto. I’d be really surprised if you could manage more than one of these because they are SO rich, but Husband and I both agreed that they’d actually be really nice eaten as a mini-dessert with some heavy cream or a cup of strong, black coffee.

As ever, I’d love to know what you think of these if you make them for yourself so do come back and leave me a comment.

Whole Earth Peanut Butter (affiliate link)

Keto Texas BBQ Pizza (gluten free)

Keto Texas BBQ Pizza (gluten free)One thing that I thought I’d probably only get to enjoy on cheat days was pizza. Sure, meat and cheese are keto staples. Dough? Not so much! However, leave it to the clever people of the internet to find a way to make a pizza base without using ANY grain whatsoever. I found the basis of this recipe on Pinterest and decided that we needed to use it to make our favourite pizza – Texas BBQ.

At first, I was really skeptical of making a pizza base out of cheese, after all, using baked cheese as a basis for a topping of cheese just sounded ridiculous! However, and I cannot overstate this enough – THIS DOUGH IS AMAZING!

Keto Texas BBQ Pizza BASEHusband and I both commented that if we were fed this without knowing that is was essentially a fake dough, neither of us would have known, we’d have just thought it was a really thin-based home-made pizza. Combined with the Texas BBQ toppings, it was a revelation! Here’s how we made it:

Keto Texas BBQ Pizza (gluten free)
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Low Carb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A keto version of one of our favourite pizzas!
Ingredients
  • For the BASE
  • 190g grated mozzarella
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 2tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Pizza seasoning
  • Greaseproof paper and a baking tray
  • For the TOPPING
  • 100g grated mozzarella and cheddar mix
  • 3 rashers of streaky bacon
  • ¼ of a red onion, diced
  • Half a green bell pepper, sliced
  • Barbecue sauce of choice
  • Shredded chicken (roughly 1 small breast, roasted, was enough)
Instructions
  1. Line your banking tray with greaseproof paper
  2. Place the mozzarella and cream cheese and microwave in one minute increments until completely melted together
  3. Stir the almond flour, followed by the egg, into the melted cheese mixture
  4. Place the mixture in the middle of the greaseproof-lined tray and spread outwards with the back of a large spoon - the mixture will be very stretchy but will flatten out it you work it for a few seconds.
  5. Sprinkle pizza seasoning over your dough and poke it all over with a fork - this will stop it from bubbling up too much
  6. Bake at 220C for 12 minutes, checking half way through and poking any bubbled areas with a fork
  7. While your dough is baking, prep your toppings and fry off your streaky bacon
  8. Once the bacon is cooked, cut it into 1cm squares
  9. Take the dough out of the oven and spread with approx. 2tbsps of barbecue sauce
  10. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the sauce, leaving a 1cm border around the edge of the dough
  11. Place the rest of the toppings evenly over the top of the pizza
  12. Bake for a further 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ Calories: 435 Fat: 33.7 Saturated fat: 11.5 Carbohydrates: 9.5 Sugar: 4.9 Sodium: 428.4mg Fiber: 2.5 Protein: 24.3

We actually doubled up and made two pizzas and had half a pizza each, which was by NO means a low calorie meal, and it gave up almost a full days worth of carbs in one meal, HOWEVER, it was still fewer carbs for half a huge pizza than it would be for one slice of one from a takeaway, which I call a win. This was such a tasty dupe for a meal we enjoy as a family and it’s just another thing that we don’t ave to completely sacrifice in order to eat a keto diet.

A small note about barbecue sauces – here in the UK, it still seems to be really tricky to find low sugar versions of anything. I know there’s a sugar free brand of barbecue sauce that’s popular in the States which can be bought via Amazon, but at £25-ish a bottle, it’s just not worth paying that. I tend to spend almost double the time food shopping when I’m devising a recipe because I’ll read every single label before I buy things, so the best thing I can advise you to do is to just find the barbecue sauce with the lowest carb value in the shops you already go to.

Hunting in specialist shops is just going to make your life more difficult, make cooking this way less sustainable and could ultimately just be off-putting. This Bart’s one was 23.3g carbs per 100g, which would be pretty high on any other day, but given the fact that we only used a couple of tablespoons as a base, it didn’t work out too badly.  Also, do be aware that many sauces aren’t gluten-free so if you’re using this recipe on that basis, make sure you check first.

This dough can also be used as a basis for a bunch of other things such as quiche, or even baked and chopped up like nachos which would really serve to satiate a craving if you’re missing crisps or nachos and need a snack.

What’s your favourite pizza topping? Let me know if you recreate this as I’d love to know what you thought!

Recipe – Keto Bread Rolls (Gluten Free)

Keto Bread Rolls

When you think of a low-carb, ketogenic eating plan you could be forgiven for thinking that bread rolls would be totally off the menu, but it is possible with a little bit of creative ingredient work and trial and error to have a really functional, low-carb bread substitute which fits your macros. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s also gluten-free which makes it suitable for a range of dietary requirements. It works so well because it’s really neutral and can be customised in a number of ways.

When you start mixing, the dough might look a bit too “wet” and it’s tempting to add more of this and that to make it firm up, but persevere with the mixing and it usually comes together. The dough is a little wetter than traditional bread dough, so don’t panic if you get a “dollop” of dough on the tray rather than a more cohesive blob!

bread rolls - baking the dough

Here’s the recipe:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe - Keto Bread Rolls (Gluten Free)
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A keto-friendly, versatile bread substitute
Ingredients
  • 120g finely ground almonds
  • 6 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C and cover a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. Add the vinegar and egg whites to the dry ingredients, followed by the boiling water and whisk with an electric hand mixer
  4. Whisk for at least a minute until the dough starts to look firmer and pull away from the sides of the bowl cleanly
  5. Add a tiny bit of oil to your hands and pull the dough out in handfuls (1/8 of the mixture at a time) and place in even spaces on the parchment
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
  7. Bake for 50 minutes on the lower shelf of the oven. They'll look brown quite quickly but don't be tempted to take them out too early as the dough needs to "dry" all the way through to the middle
  8. When ready, the rolls will sound hollow if you tap the bottom
Nutrition Information
Calories: 126 Fat: 8.4g Saturated fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 2.8g Sugar: 0.6g Sodium: 19mg Fiber: 6.1g Protein: 5.2g

One of my favourite things about this recipe is that you can change it up to whatever you need – make the rolls long for hotdogs, sub out the sesame seeds and add poppy seeds or sea salt, add a little cheese on top halfway through baking – the possibilities are endless! I’m also planning to try to see if there’s a way I can add some sweetness and make it more like a bun, but that’s a post for another day!

bread rolls - inside the rollWe had ours with beef burgers and they were such a good substitute for a normal burger bun. We’re also planning to use them in lunchboxes next week, so I’ll be making a batch and seeing how they freeze for longer-term use. Do let me know if you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.

Buy Psyllium Husk Powder by clicking on this link (affiliate link)

 

Low Carb Tiramisu (recipe) – 3.2g carbs

Keto Tiramisu

When you’ve been on keto for a while, you often find that you have cravings for sweet food, or simply get sick of all of the savoury stuff you’ve been eating, and on really bad days even a sugar-free jelly just doesn’t cut the mustard. I also find that, apologies for the TMI, certain times of the month make the sugar cravings worse, and finding something on-plan that I can eat which will allow me to keep my head in the game is really important. I’ve seen a few different dessert options around the internet but one thing I’ve been wanting to try for ages is tiramisu. My husband doesn’t have anything caffeinated, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a keto, de-caff tiramisu, but I promise it was nowhere near as boring as it sounds! It’s also completely grain and gluten free, which makes it ideal if you have other dietary restrictions. Here’s the recipe:

Low Carb Tiramisu (recipe)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert (low carb)
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
A low-carb, keto-friendly tiramisu recipe which contains zero grains and can also be made without caffeine!
Ingredients
  • ​For the ladyfingers
  • 5 eggs, separated;
  • 140g cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp erythritol (or sweetener of your choice)
  • ​​
  • For the filling(s):
  • 4 egg yolks;
  • 80ml whole milk
  • 230g mascarpone cheese
  • 240ml double cream;
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract;
  • 3tsp erythritol or sweetener of your choice
  • 120ml strong coffee or espresso;
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. ​Preheat oven to 150°C and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment.
  2. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar to meringue consistency
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks, cream cheese, vanilla, and sweetener
  4. Fold the yolk/cream cheese mixture into the egg whites
  5. Transfer to baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the baking pan and leave to dry for a few hours - DO NOT REFRIGERATE!
  7. Making the zabaglione
  8. Constantly whisk egg yolks, sweetener, and milk in a saucepan over low-medium heat until "fluffy" and hot. Cool in fridge
  9. When cool, beat the yolk mixture together with the mascarpone.
  10. Whipped Cream
  11. Beat the cream with the vanilla (and sweetener, to taste, if desired) until stiff.
  12. Construction
  13. Split the "cake" into two layers. Cut into "ladyfinger" shapes if desired.
  14. Put one layer of the cake in your serving dish and generously brush/sprinkle/otherwise douse with coffee.
  15. Spread a layer of the zabaglione on the coffee-soaked cake;
  16. Spread a layer of whipped cream over this.
  17. Dust with cocoa powder.
  18. Another layer of the coffee-soaked cake
  19. Another layer of the zabaglione
  20. Another layer of the whipped cream
  21. Final dusting with cocoa powder.
  22. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow to firm up and come together.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/9 Calories: 339 Fat: 32.5g Carbohydrates: 3.2g Sugar: 2.4g Sodium: 63.4 Fiber: .3g Protein: 7.7g

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this tiramisu, especially with the “cake” part because of the complete lack of flour or substitute grains, but it was genuinely delicious. I tried a bit of the cakey part while I was building and I’d be happy to eat it all by itself! Husband tried it and loved it too – it’s been years since he’s been able to eat tiramisu because all of the others contain caffeinated coffee, so his standards may have been lowered, but he went back for seconds AND had some on day 2, as well which is a pretty decent endorsement.

The whole thing does take a fair amount of prep and separate periods of baking and mixing, so it’s not something that can be whipped together really quickly but I would happily make this for a planned meal if we were having people over and I think it would be passable with non-keto eaters too. Husband and I both said we could barely tell the difference!

For me, being successful at staying on keto has been about willingness to try new things and experiment in the kitchen and this is one experiment that I’m not only thrilled to have done but also one that I’ll definitely be repeating in the future.

 

How to be Successful at Keto

successfulI’ve been eating a keto diet for about eight weeks now, so it might seem a little bit rich for me to be preaching to you about how to be successful at this as it’s still early days, relatively speaking. However, when I went keto I went HARD keto, going from eating what I wanted every day to limiting myself to less than 20g of carbs straight away so my learning curve was steep to say the least. I’m not claiming to have all the answers or a world of experience, but there are a few things I wish I’d known before starting keto that would have made life a lot easier. Here’s a few things that I think would really help anyone planning to start a ketogenic diet and to be really committed to it:

Clear Your Cupboards

It’s a fact that the vast majority of Western diets are heavily geared towards being based on some sort of carb. Before I went keto, EVERY SINGLE MEAL would have had some sort of bread, potato, rice or pasta with it, which means that when I started my cupboards were packed with bags of pasta, bags of rice, various bread products and frozen potatoes in every form. None of this was of any use to me anymore, so aside from the things that I kept for my daughters I got rid of everything. Clearing the way like this was not only a symbolic binning of my old lifestyle but also a way to allow me to see my eating habits for what they SHOULD be. Where I’d once stored unhealthy carbs, now I stored things which were carb free and on-plan.

Plan Your Meals

When I say “plan”, I mean really PLAN. Research keto recipes, have an idea of meals you can eat and what you need to buy to make sure you aren’t left hungry when you get home. Standing in a supermarket with an empty trolley and no idea of what you want to buy is a massive pain in the bum and makes eating keto harder than it should be. Write a list of meals and snacks, break them down by ingredients and be prepared when you get to the shops.

Have Keto Snacks to Hand

This is kind of an extension to the point above, but being hungry and discovering there’s nothing keto friendly in the house is so annoying, especially on days when you’ve exercised and you’ve got that REAL hunger going (Tell me I’m not the only one who wants to eat my weight in food on deadlift days?!). All of the suggestions in my keto snack post are great, and there are LOADS of suggestions around the internet of things you can snack on which are low carb.

Use MyFitnessPal

You may prefer a different app for calorie and macro counting, but for me MyFitnessPal is an absolute essential. As well as allowing you to track your macros religiously, it allows you to enter recipes to calculate the carb count, keep track of your weight, your exercise and even how much water you’ve drunk (I don’t really use this feature but I’m sure it’s handy if you’re someone who forgets to hydrate). It’s been indispensable for me since I started counting carbs and I think I’d be totally lost without it.

Know Your Carbs

As I mentioned above, keto has been a learning curve and never more so than when I’m thinking about meals. There have been loads of times that I’ve cooked and eaten something only to discover that it had a MUCH higher carb count than I realised. Add your meals to your app BEFORE you eat them if you aren’t sure and really acquaint yourself with every nutritional information section on food packaging because there are hidden carbs in SO many things!

BONUS REMINDER:

Remember Calories

Not everyone who eats keto counts calories but if you’re trying to lose weight then you probably are. A couple of times, I’ve eaten a variation on something I often eat and found myself completely scuppered by the difference in calories. For instance, I often eat prawns in a seafood sauce that I make from mayo and low sugar ketchup and this comes in at around 200 calories. Last week, I was rushing around and grabbed a pre-made pot of crayfish tails in dill mayo, thinking it would be much of a muchness with what I already eat, gave the carbs a cursory look and forgot the calories. To my shock, this pot contained almost SEVEN HUNDRED calories and basically left me nothing for the rest of the day! All I’m saying is, pay attention to ALL of the macros!!

Three Ingredient Keto Chocolate Pudding

three ingredient keto chocolate puddingWhen you eat a keto diet, it’s really common to feel get totally sick of only eating savoury foods. There are, of course, a few sweet things that you can have (like the 10-cal jellies I mentioned in this post) but largely low carb means sugar free and therefore not very sweet! Sometimes, I just need something sweet to shove into my face but I need to be able to do this without taking masses of extra calories and without going totally off plan, which forces me to be a little more inventive with what I eat. Necessity (and a sweet tooth) being the mother of invention, and all that. This is what led me to try making a low-carb, keto-friendly chocolate pudding, using the stuff I had in the house. Here’s what I used:

ingredients keto chocolate pudding

It does’t even warrant a full recipe! All you need to do is measure 100g of Greek yogurt (I use the full fat one because it’s lower in carbs and FAT ISN’T BAD! Also, make sure you get PROPER Greek yogurt because there are loads of ‘fake’ ones which don’t really have the added benefits that proper Greek yogurt has. Fage is a good brand if you can find it), 5g of cocoa powder (usually a heaped teaspoon but you can weigh it if you want to be super accurate) and 1 tbsp of erythritol. Give it a really good mix up, making sure you don’t have any lumps of powder hiding anywhere and then bung it back in the fridge for ten minutes. If you eat it right away the erythritol can be a little bit grainy, but leaving it for a little while helps it to sort of melt in. Obviously, you could use liquid or powdered sweetener if you have it in the house.

And you know what? It was really decent! Obviously it’s not going to be like a proper chocolate pudding, but it’s a damn decent substitute which satisfied my hankering and allowed me to stay on plan. In terms of nutrition, here’s the final count:

5.4g carbs, 6.1g fat and 10,1 grams of protein for just 119 calories! An excellent balance of macros and a tasty way to get some additional fat and protein. I find Greek yogurt really filling and I had this for brunch with a handful of peanuts, which left me feeling satisfied until dinner. If you’re also dairy-free, you could try making this with the coconut yogurt substitutes I’ve seen (although I can’t vouch for the carb count in those as I’ve never had them). Let me know if you give this a try or if you have any of your own variations.

Why Keto? Four Reasons to Follow a Keto Diet.

Since starting this new way of eating, a lot of people have asked me “why keto?” and since that’s something that I can never seem to answer in just one sentence, I thought I’d give you a little breakdown of my reasons.

1. Science

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When I was pregnant with my eldest, I developed gestational diabetes which never resolved itself because of my weight, so in my second pregnancy I was actually injecting insulin. During both pregnancies, I was advised to follow a low GI diet and it gave me a basis of knowledge in terms of what the actual chemical make-up of food does to your body. Then, my husband discovered keto about 18 months ago and started following a low carb diet on and off, leading both of us to do a lot more reading and when you do that there’s just no denying the science behind keto. There’s more to healthy eating that simple calories in vs. calories spent and in terms of my personal health, keto seemed to be the most effective thing.

2. Intense Dislike of Weightloss Groups

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Let me begin by saying that I have friends who have lost weight using Weight Watchers and Slimming World and it’s worked for them, so that’s fine. However, I have an intense dislike of these types of groups for a number of reasons. Firstly, if a company’s profits depend on YOU remaining overweight or needing to diet, they simply do not have a vested interest in you ever becoming ‘slim for life’. If everyone who followed their plans lost weight and kept it off, their profits would disappear.

Secondly, they make the job of losing weight overly complicated so that you feel like you couldn’t possibly do it yourself. You think that you NEED the magic books with figures for points and syns and whatever else they may call it, when all you really need to do is eat healthy food, cut sugar out of your diet and move around more. They never seem to advocate exercise, which is ESSENTIAL for a healthy body and they also remove all accountability – want to eat that pizza? Well, Slimming World says it’s okay because you can use your Syns. Yeah, yeah, everything in moderation, I know, except that DOESN’T help you to lose weight. Losing weight is achieved through hard work, not half measures and this is exactly was SW and WW promote because they NEED YOU TO BE FAT. There is no-one involved with keto who has a vested interest in keeping me fat.

3. It’s Sustainable

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Eating keto is something that, even when I’m at my “ideal weight” I’ll continue to do because it’s actually a really sustainable and enjoyable way to eat. For most people I speak to their first reaction is “Oh, I could never give up carbs, I love them too much”, but that’s exactly the point. There was NO bigger carb monster than me; I could easily polish off a whole family sized bag of crisps myself, tubes of Pringles, extra mash or roast potatoes with dinner, anything made of potatoes or pasta or rice was like crack to me! Removing these from my diet has improved my blood sugar levels, given me more energy, helped me to lose 19lb in just 6 weeks, and I’ve not felt deprived at all. I can still enjoy lovely meals with my family, I just have to think a little bit harder about how to make them work for me.

And finally, the best reason of them all…

4. BACON!

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A “diet” which positively encourages the consumption of bacon. Need I say more?!